Most intelligent proponents of gun control recognize the realities of gun confiscation, understanding that it is an overtly illegal action that would never make it past the courts. Even if it was somehow declared legal, getting local police departments to enforce the law would be another impossible task. And even if they could somehow get the police and military on board, gun confiscation would lead to a civil war unlike any the world has ever seen before.
Nevertheless, one newly elected Congressman has a radical, moronic solution to the insurmountable obstacles preventing gun confiscation – just drop nukes on Americans who don’t turn in their guns.
It’s a statement too absurd to even be believable as a satire piece, yet it’s something that one of our nation’s leaders actually said. After Rep. Eric Swalwell suggested the US government pursue gun confiscation, one Twitter user warned Swalwell that his policies would lead to a civil war. Swalwell responded, saying, “And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities.”
Peeling back all of the levels of ignorance in this statement is like trying to get to the heart of an artichoke. For one, there’s the fact that a soon-to-be Congressman believes that nuking American cities and American citizens is a worthwhile tradeoff for enforcing gun control. Second, there’s the fact that Swalwell seems to believe that nuclear weapons can somehow be targeted specifically at gun owners rather than obliterating everything and everyone in a miles-long radius.
Swalwell later walked back his statement, saying “No one is nuking anyone or threatening that.” However, that doesn’t change the reality that an elected representative of Congress still chose to make such an absurd and dangerous comment in the first place.
A civil war over gun confiscation remains incredibly unlikely – not because politicians like Swalwell are unwilling to take it that far but because we have so many protections in place that would keep it from ever getting to that point. So long as the Second Amendment exists, any gun confiscation law would be shot down by the courts before the ink on the paper even had time to dry.
If politicians did manage to pass a gun confiscation law, they had better count on going door to door themselves to collect the firearms. Law enforcement and the military tend to be very supportive of gun rights as a whole, and many law enforcement and military leaders have already said that they would never take up arms against American citizens in order to enforce gun confiscation no matter what unconstitutional orders Washington handed down.
If it did come to a civil war, nuclear weapons wouldn’t be a factor any more than they have been a factor in any war since World War Two. Our nuclear arsenal did nothing to help the American government in the Vietnam War, nothing to help in the war against Al-Qaeda, nothing to help in the fight against ISIS, and nothing to help in any other war, battle, or skirmish that we have been involved in. It would likewise play no role in any civil war over gun confiscation.
To Swalwell’s credit, the talking point he was trying to get at isn’t an uncommon one among supporters of gun control. Countering the argument that the Second Amendment is designed to protect against a tyrannical government, many gun control proponents argue that an armed populace couldn’t possibly stand a chance against the full might of the United States military if it ever came to that. Most of them don’t invoke nuclear weapons since they realize how useless nukes would be in a civil war, but they do argue that the government is simply too well armed and technologically advanced for the Second Amendment to serve the same purpose that it did in 1776.
Again, though, this assumes that the military would take up arms against the American people and disavow the Constitution they swore to protect. Even if 50% of the military got on board with gun confiscation – a ridiculously large number – that would still leave the other 50% of the military along with more than 100 million gun owners standing against them.
Try as he might, Congressman Eric Swalwell won’t be confiscating guns any time soon. Instead, he’ll have to stick with making moronic statements about gun control on Twitter.